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Collaborative Networks

West Partnership: Definition of Collaboration

Collaboration involves working together, to understand and improve pedagogy for agreed purposes, which leads to better outcomes, informed by evidence and critical self-reflection.


The Collaborative Networks Workstream promotes and supports collaborative working models such as Forums, Specialist Networks and Enquiry Networks
The support includes:

The Collaborative Networks are supported by the Glasgow University Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change and Education Scotland.

Education Scotland
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Lead Officer Contact

Helen Brown



The West Partnership are developing Forums in response from sector groups requesting the same experience offered by the Secondary Curriculum Networks 

These forums are coordinated by a core group of practitioners, supported by the West Partnership, Education Scotland and local authority staff. The networks facilitate professional learning and networking opportunities.

Each forum is provided with online space where practitioners can share resources, experiences and expertise.  In partnership with the coordinators and Education Scotland the forums also provide online Open Discussions to encourage professional dialogue around current topics.  The themes for these topics can be directed by the practitioners and influence the wider work of the West Partnership. For example the Early Years and Primary Forum are coordinating an Open Discussion around Learner Wellbeing which will inform the work of the West Partnership Health and Wellbeing networks.

The vision is to empower practitioners to collaborate in ways that will reduce work load, improve practice and build capacity as well as developing a shared understanding which will have a positive impact on young people.

Volunteer Lead

There are opportunities for a practitioners to volunteer to take a lead role in coordinating the forums and act as a direct link between the forums and West Partnership Team with a view of creating self-sustainable networks and empowerment of practitioners. If you are interested in being further involved then please contact the West Partnership Team.

Evolving Forums

The West Partnership looks to facilitate a wider number of forums.  The forums that are presently evolving are:

To join these forums please use the codes shared above to access the relevant forum via Microsoft Teams.

Specialist Networks

Specialist Networks

Specialist Networks are where groups of practitioners collaborate to share experiences and expertise. This can result in the development of resources or professional learning opportunities.  The Specialist Networks promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise across local authorities promoting cross sector collaboration.

Families & Communities Network

The Families & Communities Network aims to identify, share and develop best practices which support families living in poverty, build community capacity, increase parental engagement and improve inequity. 

The Families and Communities Network is also responsible for developing systems that empower young people in participating in the West Partnership.

Youth Ambassadors Network

Our annual Youth Voice Event brings together young people from across the West Partnership, representing each of the 8 authorities, to share their views on the work of the West Partnership.

Youth Voice

Our nominated West Partnership Youth Ambassadors collaborate to collect and share examples of learning experiences valued by young people.

CLD Managers’ Network

The CLD Managers Network aims to share practice in CLD service and delivery.  It has a core role in promoting partnership working between CLD and education practitioners. It is integral to the work of the West Partnership to promote and support youth participation.  The CLD Managers’ Network also supports our work with families and communities.

Health & Wellbeing Network

Local authority officers, West Partnership staff and Education Scotland staff are working in partnership to gather exemplification of interesting and effective evidence based practice relating to health and wellbeing.

The aim is to promote a clear understanding of what constitutes effective practice in the area of health and wellbeing. This will empower practitioners, young people, parents and other stakeholders to develop suitable approaches for their own contexts which will build excellence into the system.

All effective practice across the West Partnership which currently features on the National Improvement Hub has been collated and can be accessed via the link below.

All local authorities have been invited to seek out interesting, evidence based practice. This is in the process of being collated. If you would like your establishment to contribute to this bank of practice, please, please complete the ‘West Partnership Scoping Interesting Practice — LA’ document and return to your local authority West Partnership Health and Wellbeing representative.   

Network for ASL Establishments & Settings

A network for senior leaders and local authority officers with responsibility for special school/ ASL settings has been established and is meeting regularly. Growth in collaboration within the ASL Leadership Network is progressing.

Areas of focus in 2019-2020 include:

Interested in joining?

TEAMS for West Partnership ASL network

Educational Psychologist Networks

Educational Psychologists across the West Partnership are collaborating through two key groups. There is a Principal Educational Psychologist group which is made up of all Principal Educational Psychologist in our eight local authorities.

The West Partnership Educational Psychologist Practitioner Forum also meets regularly. This group has established a website to share approaches and practice. It can be accessed at the following link:

Enquiry Networks

Enquiry Networks

The West Partnership supports collaborative enquiry groups in partnership with the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at Glasgow University.  At present all enquiry groups collaborate online using Microsoft Teams due to social distancing guidelines.

Interested in joining?

Supporting Collaborative Learning Networks within Schools

What are Collaborative Enquiry Groups?

The West Partnership supports collaborative enquiry groups of practitioners that collaboratively explore current issues to design interventions, based on evidence, that aim to improve outcomes for young people.

Collaborative action enquiry is characterised by a three-stage process; preparing for change, exploring evidence and then testing of the change. 

What does this look like?

The West Partnership takes a themed approach to collaborative enquiry.  The themes are drawn from current topics of interest and then a Specialist Network are set up to develop stimulus resources and a professional learning programme to support schools and early learning centres in making a small change to their practice related to the theme.

Schools and early learning centres are then invited to participate in the themed enquiries.  The West Partnership supports the collaborative enquiry process through webinars and drop in sessions. The webinars offer the opportunity to learn from others practitioners, who share their practice, and participate in professional dialogue around making a small change to practice.

In 2020-21 the following themed enquiries are being developed:

If you are interested in participating in one of our themed collaborative action enquiry then contact Helen Brown on gw09brownhelen@glow.sch.uk

More information about the collaborative enquiry can be found in the National Improvement Hub: 



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